Disinformation Board Paused, “Mary Poppins” Director Out, but Biden Suppression of Free Speech Continues

COMMENTARY Civil Rights

Disinformation Board Paused, “Mary Poppins” Director Out, but Biden Suppression of Free Speech Continues

May 24th, 2022 6 min read
COMMENTARY BY
Erin Dwinell

Senior Research Associate, Border Security and Immigration

Erin is a senior research associate in the Border Security and Immigration Center at The Heritage Foundation.
U.S. President Joe Biden attends the Quad Leaders’ summit on May 24, 2022 in Tokyo, Japan. Yuichi Yamazaki / Getty Images

Key Takeaways

We should be ready to expose the suppression of free speech wherever it continues.

In addition to being a violation of constitutional rights, policing “disinformation” is not the mission of DHS, securing the homeland is.

The failed Biden administration loves to twist the truth and peddle outright lies to fit its narrative and agenda. Its disinformation efforts won’t stop.

After only a few weeks, the unconstitutional, correctly criticized federal Disinformation Governance Board has been “paused” and “Minister of Truth” Nina Jankowicz has resigned.

It is appropriate to celebrate, but amid statements from the White House saying the “work is going to continue,” we should beware that some version of the board will quietly pop up again in the Department of Homeland Security and other agencies. And we should be ready to expose the suppression of free speech wherever it continues.

As many have pointed out, this effort was entirely unconstitutional from the start and violated the First Amendment. The board even opened President Joe Biden and Jankowicz up to robust lawsuits from two states.

The Constitution clearly states that “Congress shall make no law … abridging the freedom of speech.” The executive branch cannot abridge free speech either, nor can the federal government collude with Big Tech to censor free speech, as they are wont to do.

In fact, this administration has attempted to control the flow of information in almost every area. The White House has openly admitted to working with Big Tech to “flag” disinformation for quite a while. And Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas has even said that the “department is partnering with the Department of Education to develop a [disinformation] program in the K-12 arena,” raising well-founded concerns that the administration is “propagandizing” kids.

In addition to being a violation of constitutional rights, policing “disinformation” is not the mission of DHS, securing the homeland is. Efforts such as the Disinformation Governance Board are indicative of DHS purposely straying further from its mission and attempting to act as the sole arbiter of what is true and false.

In hiring Jankowicz as director, the administration further demonstrated its brazen attempt to favor the left and silence the truth.

Jankowicz has a well-documented history of promoting disinformation herself, including denying the veracity of news reports on the contents of Hunter Biden’s laptop. She also claimed the dossier on former President Donald Trump’s supposed ties to Russia was true and that “Republicans and other disinformers” are engaged in exploiting false narratives about critical race theory “for profit.”

Perhaps the ultimate giveaway was when Jankowicz said on a Zoom call that “verified people” on Twitter with a blue checkmark like her should be able to “edit” others’ tweets because “they’re not trustworthy.”

Before joining DHS, Jankowicz published a book titled “How to Be a Woman Online” in which she claims victim status for being disparaged online by others because she is a woman. She stated that she faces harassment from men whenever she shares opinions online.

“To be a woman online is an inherently dangerous act,” she says. “The attacks we endure are meant to silence us.”

The reality is, she should look in the mirror and maybe become a little more self-aware. Replace “woman” with any political persuasion that does not align with hers, and that is exactly what she does to others—tries to silence them.

Now, Taylor Lorenz of The Washington Post—an equally untrustworthy source—is painting Jankowicz as a victim of disinformation because she is a woman. Jankowicz is being lauded by the left as a martyr of sorts; a heroic “victim” of “right-wing attacks” online.

Before commenting on Jankowicz submitting her resignation, Lorenz wrote that Jankowicz “was thrust into the spotlight,” as if Jankowicz does not make a habit of thrusting herself into the spotlight, as you can see from her own social media accounts:

(WARNING: The video in the tweet below contains adult language.)

Interestingly, conservative news articles drawing attention to Jankowicz’s behavior largely pulled video from her own social media posts. That is apparently offensive, as we recently learned when Lorenz doxxed the creator of the Libs of TikTok Twitter account for simply reposting unedited videos exposing the radical gender ideology of the left.   

Simply because the self-described “Mary Poppins of Disinformation” has resigned and the board is paused, there is no reason to expect the Biden administration’s “disinformation” campaigns won’t continue.

Efforts are underway for the DHS Homeland Security Advisory Council to “review” the board and provide “recommendations on how the department can garner public trust surrounding its disinformation efforts.”

There it is in plain writing: The review will determine not if, but how, the department will continue its disinformation efforts.

The failed Biden administration loves to twist the truth and peddle outright lies to fit its narrative and agenda. Its disinformation efforts won’t stop, although it may try to make them more subtle. Jankowicz will be back in some form as well. Let’s keep our eyes open for both.

This piece originally appeared in The Daily Signal